Real browser alternatives on iOS?

Ars and The Register (and probably others) are reporting that Google and Mozilla are working on “browsers that break current App Store rules.” You know, browsers that aren’t dependent on Apple’s rendering engine. Actual full-fledged browsers.

For various reasons I use iOS as the least-bad option (for me) between Android and iOS. But this is a thing that’s bugged me a long time.

To be honest, I don’t really understand Apple’s reasoning here. Allowing a slightly hobbled version of Chrome doesn’t really provide adequate “defense” of Apple’s walled garden. It seems to me that Chrome loyalists would prefer a mostly Chrome-ish experience to Safari, even if it’s not the full deal.

Is Apple worried that its own rendering engine is going to suffer by comparison? It’s Apple’s home field. One would hope they could out-perform and do better on battery life than the other contenders on their own hardware. If they can’t, they deserve to lose.

Whatever the rationale, I hope that Google and Mozilla are reading the tea leaves correctly and this silly anti-choice and anti-user restriction is lifted. Add that to Apple accepting third-party payment services and app sideloading (as Ars, once again, reports) and we might have some honest to goodness competition in an industry that talks it up relentlessly but avoids it like the plague.


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